Private Fostering Week takes place from the 9th- 13th July and is an initiative that aims to reduce the number of children in un-notified private fostering arrangements in England. Bedford Borough Council is asking for help to identity any children who are being cared for by someone who is not a direct relative.
Private Fostering is an arrangement where someone, who is not a close relative, cares for another person’s child for 28 days or more. Although, a private arrangement, the parent or carer must notify their local Council as they may miss out on essential welfare checks for the child and other support services.
Teachers, health visitors and the general public are also asked to notify the Council immediately if they hear of any private fostering arrangements so that the carers can get the help and support they are entitled to.
Councillor Shan Hunt, Portfolio Holder for Children's Social Care and Lead Member for Children's Services, said: “Keeping our children safe and supporting families is a real priority for the Council. All parents and private fosters must notify their local Council. If you hear about a child who is being privately fostered, please let us know so we can ensure the safety of the child and allow private foster carers to take advantage of all the available support services.
To notify Bedford Borough Council of a private fostering arrangement contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01234 718700 (office hours) or ring 0300 300 8123 (out of hours).